26 Sterling Years
Friendship and Service
The Tuscaloosa (AL) Chapter
Delicate lace curtains fall over each window of a two-story, olive green house on the corner of Paul W. Bryant Drive and Lurleen Wallace Boulevard. The curtains are whispers of the history encased in and around the Murphy-Collins House. But nestled inside, awaiting visitors, sits much more.
The historic bungalow structure is home to the Murphy African-American Museum. Inside its walls are exhibits that serve as visual narrations of the importance of African-Americans’ history and contributions to Tuscaloosa, the state and, on an even grander scale, society.
Emma Jean Melton, volunteer director and chairwoman of the board of management, helped spearhead efforts to reopen the museum in 1996 and eventually renovate the building to what visitors can see today.
“I sort of fell in love with this old house,” said Melton, a retired high school biology teacher who has worked with the museum for more than 20 years. “When I got here, it was in dire need of repair, and so we got a grant to restore it to its natural beauty, so to speak.”Type your paragraph here. (See entire article)
Congratulations to Dr. Keisha Lowther
2018 West Alabama Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction Award!
After 30 years of teaching in and around Tuscaloosa, Jeanne Burkhalter considers her involvement in Book Buddies to be the most important work of her career.
Burkhalter has been the head of Book Buddies at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School for two years. The program focuses on reaching students who struggle with reading by supplying one-on-one mentorship from volunteers through instruction she designed herself.
“We’re changing the trajectory of a child’s life,” said Burkhalter, who was part of the driving force in creating the concept for Tuscaloosa Magnet Elementary School and led it as principal from its founding in 2009 to her retirement from Tuscaloosa City Schools in 2015. “This feels more like a calling.”
Book Buddies aims to help elementary students read at their grade level by third grade, which is a pivotal time in a child’s development. Some research has found that children are less likely to graduate high school if they are not able to reach reading proficiency by third grade.
Links in the News
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Annual Retreat August 2018
"Fascinating Ladies, Linking Our Legacy and Owning Our Future"
Tuscaloosa Links Work and Prepare for a Successful Year
Murphy African-American Museum is a house
with many stories
Book Buddies slowly growing, reaching more students through reading in Tuscaloosa
September 23, 2018
Charmaine Morrow Walton
Last Updated: June 20, 2019